Herniated disk and pain. What helps?

Posted by pedaboo @pedaboo, Feb 24, 2017

Hi, I’m @pedaboo, new on here. MRI in October showed herniated disk. Physical therapy eventually helped by January. After a week of relative comfort, pain came back with a vengeance. Prescription lidocaine patches and OxyContin (took it for just a day, 1 pill every 5 hours) did nothelp. 3 sessions over 2 weeks with acupuncture doesn’t help yet. Chiropractor???

hope all is well with everyone. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in L4 and 5 area in January 2016. I did acupuncture, physical therapy, k laser, injections and pain meds nothing worked. I had surgery in November 2016 but i still haven’t been able to return to work. The pain better but i still have to take small doses of pain meds to help and i don’t know if I’ll be able to return to work as my job is physically demanding

REPLY
@1947

hope all is well with everyone. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in L4 and 5 area in January 2016. I did acupuncture, physical therapy, k laser, injections and pain meds nothing worked. I had surgery in November 2016 but i still haven’t been able to return to work. The pain better but i still have to take small doses of pain meds to help and i don’t know if I’ll be able to return to work as my job is physically demanding

Jump to this post

@ 19471 was diagnoses with herniated disc last October and am on PT, acupuncture, oxycodone. Thinking of epidural. But must get off blood thinners first. Any have this experience??

REPLY

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

REPLY
@gailb

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

Jump to this post

Thank you for letting us know your story. I have degenative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, severe arthritis in my back, knees, and ankles. I am also diabetic (Type 2). I saw an orthopedist at Mayo-Rochester who told me that I would need to have spinal fusion surgery sooner rather than later. I started graduate school this past August and I am hoping to push off the surgery until after I am done with the program (when I am 65!). I have kept up with the PT exercises, use hiking sticks when I walk and take Metaxalone for the occasional back spasm as well as Percocet. How did you find a Restorative Yoga course?
,

REPLY

Have you considered trying to increase your blood flow in that area specifically?…It helped me after my car accident

REPLY
@gailb

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

Jump to this post

@gailb, Thank you for your story. I have many of the issues you are experience. I am 49 years old and a police officer. I currently live in the Palm Springs area. Is this near the desert town you were in. I was wondering if there is a Restorative Yoga in the area you can recommend.

REPLY
@1947

hope all is well with everyone. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in L4 and 5 area in January 2016. I did acupuncture, physical therapy, k laser, injections and pain meds nothing worked. I had surgery in November 2016 but i still haven’t been able to return to work. The pain better but i still have to take small doses of pain meds to help and i don’t know if I’ll be able to return to work as my job is physically demanding

Jump to this post

@pedaboo, I’ve done everything uou mentioned a more. My only regrett is i waited nearly 11 months to have surgery which cause me more nerve damage is takinf longer to recover from. If i would have known i probably would have insisted on surgery much sooner and mau have avoided the nerve damage. Good luck

REPLY
@1947

hope all is well with everyone. I was diagnosed with a herniated disc in L4 and 5 area in January 2016. I did acupuncture, physical therapy, k laser, injections and pain meds nothing worked. I had surgery in November 2016 but i still haven’t been able to return to work. The pain better but i still have to take small doses of pain meds to help and i don’t know if I’ll be able to return to work as my job is physically demanding

Jump to this post

I have thought about surgery but am worried about recovery time. How long did it take?

REPLY
@gailb

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

Jump to this post

Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your question. I had a Restorative Yoga instructor in Missouri and have not looked for one here. I will contact my former instructor and see if she will let me know how to find restorative yoga anywhere. I’ll let you know. Ive had a setback in my recovery and I’m pretty sure it means I’ll need the surgery for my L4. Gail B

REPLY
@gailb

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

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I am so sorry to hear this news. What type of surgery do you need?.

REPLY
@gailb

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

Jump to this post

So sorry to hear. My recovery from L4 and L5 surgery has been slow. Hope all goes qell for u.

Liked by mschock

REPLY
@gailb

@1947 and @pedaboo, I have had a herniated disc at L5-S1, and still have a herniated disk at L4. I had outpatient discectomy–laminectomy surgery for my L5-S1 (I’m not sure which one I had as they seem to use those terms interchangeably when talking about my back) on December 22, 2016. I have -0- pain in my back on the left side now, and before the surgery on my L5-S1 I had the excruciating acute pain that I think is the same you both had. I had to use a wheelchair because my back was spasming so bad I couldn’t walk. My spine doctor ordered Pregnisone 6 day meds for inflamation, and Baclofen for muscle spasms. I was already taking Tramadol 50 mg. for pain on my right lumbar from my L4, so they just continued that. My pain doctor has since added Gabapentin (which I don’t like) to help with the nerve pain. My L5-S1 acute session began in early November, and ended with my December surgery. The MRI showed the spinal cord in my L5-S1 was being impinged upon by the disc and they had to cut a portion of the disc off. I also have a compression fracture of my C7, which has apparently been there so long it already healed (No wonder my neck had been hurting for about 4 years!) I also have degenerative disc disease, arthritis, and my L4 is out of alignment 7.3 mm. I have stenosis of my sciatic nerves on both sides.

My L4 affects my right side. I have had problems with it since I was in my teens, and started getting chiropractic for it in my late 20s, and I am 68 years old now. About 7 years ago I began having periodic acute pain in my lumbar about once a quarter for 2-3 weeks at a time. I decided to get an MRI about 5 years ago due to the acute pain that time lasting 3 months! The doctor said I had 4 bulging discs, L2, L3, L4, and L5, with 2 causing left side pain, and 2 causing right side pain. I told him I would not do surgery, so I doctored myself and began taking Yoga classes instead. Wow! Yoga was so great for me! It was Restorative Yoga, which is very gentle Yoga that uses mostly floor or chair poses and many props to provide support. Slowly I began to get better until after 6 months or so, I was completely better. I had built my core muscles and the poses kept me limber and fluid in my movements. I was able to do just about anything I wanted even though I was about 80 pounds overweight.

While I was still taking Yoga 3 times a week 4 years ago, I began to envision myself hiking with my husband and camping with him. I was too overweight to be a good hiker as I just couldn’t walk up hills very well. I decided that I was going to lose weight so when we retired I would be able to have fun with him. Then, a year later my doctor encouraged me to check out Bariatric Surgery since my T2 diabetes was getting steadily worse and my blood pressure was high even with medications; I was also using a Cpap machine at night to breathe due to my weight. In January, 2014, I signed up to prepare for Bariatric Surgery, specifically the RnY, which is the big bypass surgery. I attended 6 months of classes in preparation, and had the surgery July 8, 2014. I have lost 80 pounds, and had lost most of it within 9 months. I go up and down about 3 pounds periodically, but have kept the weight off. That was a tremendous help for my back and my self-esteem. I had to drop out of Yoga after the surgery for a period of time, but started back until May, 2015, when I moved to a desert town in California to accept a new job. I didn’t start back in Yoga there and by January 2016, I knew the job was not going to work out. I quit and my husband and I moved in with our daughter in Southern California. Nearly a year ago, while I was out cutting roses out of the raised flower bed here, I felt my back go out. It wasn’t acute pain, and it was on my right side, so I figured I would go to the chiropractor, massage, rest, walk, etc. and it would get better. It didn’t. Finally I went to the spine doctor here, and they sent me to the pain doctor. In the meantime, I began working on various “interim executive” jobs and took a consulting gig in September that required me to fly back and forth between home and Denver every weekend. The beginning of November, I bent over to pet our cat at home, and my back went out again. This time it was the acute sudden type of pain. That’s when I got the second MRI and had surgery to correct that problem in December.

The past year I had tried Acupuncture, Massage, Chiropractic, Tramadol, Pregnisone, Baclofen, Gabapentin, and surgery to help with my back pain. None of them have rid me of pain on the right side, although the Pregnisone and surgery have helped me the most on my left side. My right side remains in pain, and I am now doing Physical Therapy for both my left side surgery recovery, and to see if it will help my right side pain. As soon as I am given the go ahead, I will start Yoga again. I am hoping to avoid surgery on my L4, as it will mean implanting rods and screws, and I just don’t want to do that unless I have to. PT is already helping me I think, so I am happy about that. Both of my brothers have had multiple surgeries on their backs due to problems like mine. They are both older than me, and I don’t want to repeat their problems with pain pills, including morphine, methodone, oxycodone, etc. My youngest brother looked like he was dying when they had him on morphine! He is so much better now that he’s had the surgery with the rods and screws, and hardly needs any pain drugs now. I will take marijuana before I will use anything stronger than I am currently taking. I just know that my pain doctor will no longer be able to subscribe for me once I go down that path since marijuana is illegal at the Federal Level, even though it is legal in California.

I just want you both to know that the more you can do things such as Restorative Yoga with a really good teacher, and Physical Therapy, the better your pain will be. It may even go away totally as long as you build up your core muscles. It takes work, but it is SO much better than being on pain drugs. I encourage you to try a natural way to improve your backs if your doctors say it’s safe for you. Good luck, I hope your pain subsides. Now, I have to stop as my neck is killing me! Ha.

Jump to this post

The best thing I know to find a good restorative yoga program is to contact my former yoga instructor, Renee DeTar on her website. She is a fantastic instructor, and may be able to put you in touch with an instructor in the Palm Springs area. Go to: http://www.reneeyoga.com and read her information. I believe she even gives her phone number on her site. You can also check out the Himalayan Institute website, which is full of interesting information. Renee teaches Yoga Nidra programs as well, and I found this form of meditation very valuable for getting in touch with the whole person I am. You may want to ask if there is a class in your area. Good luck. Gail

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I have been there ! My outcome has been a spinal fusion which has given me my life back however it is not perfect. I am able to do just about everything I want with caution. Don’t give up progress seems to take forever!

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By now I hope you have gotten relief. I too have a herniated disc and spinal stenosis in my lumbar area. I am starting Gabapentin and have been through PT. I am now doing research to find a great surgeon and hopefully will qualify for minimally invasive procedure. I have two friends who are doing well after a similar surgery.. walking for exercise and playing tennis. How is it going?

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Have many of the symptoms above and spent years on methadone and opana during which I raised 3 boys, got an MBA and almost finished PhD. In 2012 I was forced onto suboxone because it is “safer.” Since then I can’t find one doctor in my state to even touch methadone. 20mg a day was a life saver. Why can’t I find a doctor? I have security clearance for Christ sake so my risk profile is about as low as it gets. What are people like myself to do?

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